The Judgment Of God
In 1 Peter 4:17-19, the inspired writer, Peter wrote concerning God’s judgment:
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
We often make appointments we later either cannot keep or do not want to keep. Many times we are able to postpone, or even cancel, these appointments. There is one appointment none of us will be able to avoid. “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are many questions concerning the judgment that we cannot answer (when will the judgment take place, exactly how will the judgment take place, etc.).
There are, however, several things concerning God’s judgment that we can know:
1) That we are self-condemned whenever we practice those things we condemn in others (Romans 2:1).
Jesus, in his “Sermon on the Mount,” warned against hypocritical judgment of others (Matthew 7:1-5). Unfortunately, we are often times much better at seeing the sin in the lives of others than we are at recognizing sin in our own lives.
2) That God judges according to His standard of truth (John 12:48; Romans 2:2).
We will not be judged according to the ways, or opinions, of men (Proverbs 14:12), or the standards of society. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
3) That God’s goodness does not indicate an approval of sin (Romans 2:4).
The fact that we may temporarily escape the consequences of our sin does not indicate God approves of our sin. God is longsuffering and patient toward us because he is not willing that any should perish, but that all men would repent (2 Peter 3:9).
4) That God will judge all men according to their works (Romans 2:6,8).
Although we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1), we are not justified by faith alone (James 2:24-26). We will be judged according to how we have lived (2 Timothy 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).
5) That God will judge without respect of persons (Romans 2:11).
Someone has said that death is the great equalizer. Whether or not a man has enjoyed the benefits of material wealth, an education, or societal status in this life, all will be equal before God on the day of judgment. All will be judged by the same standard (John 12:48).
6) That God will judge through Christ (Romans 2:16).
We will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Brethren, let us seriously consider the judgment of God as we aspire to teach lost souls with whom we come in contact. Remember the inspired words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”
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